Some would say that the fabric of American society is fraying due to decreased civic engagement and increased political polarization. Last week I witnessed the complete opposite.
It was the night before Flag Day and I saw the strengthening of social bonds in a local restaurant where thirteen veterans and their spouses came together to share fun, stories and some delicious Irish stew.
This positive and festive social gathering brought together US veterans from three generations to share in the spirit of camaraderie and strengthening community involvement.
Members from the Charles Schwab Military Veterans Network and Ahwatukee American Legion Post 64 met at the Irish Hare Pub and Restaurant in Phoenix for some fun, food and story telling.
Here our common values rallied about an important piece of cloth that symbolizes the unity and strength of our country- the flag that we have all pledged allegiance to. The red, white and blue fabric on our table reminded us that we are Americans first.
We came together and toasted to our freedom which none of us will ever take for granted.
It warmed my heart and gave me hope that people from different generations, professions, political leanings and walks of life can come together in a spirit of positive bonds of affection and shared experiences.
The Irish Hare is a great venue for social events, dinner and music and we all appreciated the support from the Proprietor Heidi Hamor who thanked us for our service and contributed to the raffle prizes with a snazzy, green shirt. Other fun raffle prizes from the American Legion Post 64 included a US Flag and fun, patriotic cowboy hats.
It was a simple yet spirited event that renewed my faith in the strength of local community bonds that are the underlying support for the fabric of our society. I was happily reminded that I live in the United States of America where our flag is appreciated and rallied around in times of peace and war and serves as a common symbol of our shared principles and values.